Value Propositions and More

Working the Emotions: Value Propositions and More

The key thing to keep in mind when trying to sell anything is your value proposition.

In fact, let’s take a step back. Understand that people don’t buy products based on logic. We don’t buy things because we need them and we’ve considered the pros and cons.

In fact, we’re often most reluctant to buy the things we need. How badly do you need a new toothbrush right now??

Instead, we tend to buy things because we want them. Most of our purchases are emotional and impulsive and based on a knee-jerk reaction to the things we want. This  is why you need to press emotional buttons to get someone to buy.

And you do that by focusing on the value proposition.

What is value proposition? Simple: it’s the way in which your product promises to make life better for the people who buy it.

Another way to look at this is by referencing an old saying: you don’t sell hats, you sell warm heads. In other words, don’t focus on what your product does but why people want it to do that.

So if you’re selling an eBook on how to get great abs, what’s the value proposition? It’s not great abs. It’s that ‘feeling of confidence you get from having a sexy body’, or an improved love life, or better athletic performance.

You don’t sell a car, you sell freedom and you sell exhilaration. You sell status. This is similar to what we discussed when we talked about promoting a lifestyle rather than a product through social media. People want something that will inspire them and they want something exciting – so don’t just talk in terms of technicalities.

As well as talking about the exciting life that people could have if they bought your product though, you should also focus on what they can get away from and the drawbacks of their current situation.

So in other words, you don’t just tell people about how they will love having amazing  abs, you express your understanding about how much it sucks to have a flabby stomach.

This is the equivalent of your ‘pain point’. And if you have a more straightforward product that solves a specific problem in a specific industry, then this is where you can focus on that.

Pain points are spending too long washing up, being tired every morning, having to wait for the computer to book up… your product needs to promise a better future and it needs to fix a pain point. The more simple and straightforward you can make this, the easier it will be to market and to sell.

Finally, the other way you need to work the emotions is by applying a little pressure. You want your customer to desire the product you’re describing and at the same time, you want them to feel anxious that if they don’t act fast – it may be gone.

If you have some flexibility in controlling the price point of your affiliate product, then one way you can do this is by introducing a special offer or discount. Otherwise you can just point out that stocks are limited and that if they don’t click buy right now, they may well lose out!

Mitigating Risk

When someone is considering acting on your advice and buying the product though, there will  be a number of things holding them back and preventing them from taking action.

One of these things is the potential risk: people don’t want to buy something for $35 or more that might not do exactly what it claims to. They have no guarantee that you’re not just a scam artist and unlike being in a store, they have no way of looking over your product before they buy.

What’s more, people are naturally risk averse. That is to say, that if there’s a 50% chance of winning a thousand pounds and a 50% chance of losing three hundred pounds, a lot of people wouldn’t take the chance. Even though they stand to earn more than they stand to lose, people are more driven to hold onto what they already have than to chase after what they don’t yet have.

So your job as an affiliate marketer is to put their mind at ease and to take away their concerns while removing risk.

One way to do this is to address their concerns head on. Here, you’re simply going to second guess what they might be thinking and then prevent them from worrying in the same sentence.

So when you are selling an eBook, you say things like:

“I know what you’re thinking and no – this isn’t just another scam!” Or how about:

“I was reluctant too – I never thought I had what it took to follow a training program and I had been burned before.”

This way, you can preempt concerns and remove them from the table.

Another strategy though is simply to offer some kind of guarantee. JVZoo and most other affiliate networks facilitate a very simple and straightforward return policy which means that anyone who buys a product you recommend can easily get their money back – and this is something you should promote front and center!


What you’ll find is that this makes a lot of people interested in buying your product who otherwise wouldn’t be but very few people will actually act on the returns policy.

Another option is to offer a free sample or a free trial. You can do this for instance by giving  away the first chapter of the eBook, or by offering a free trial of a service that requires the buyer to cancel a direct debit to get out of (this is called inertia selling – a lot of people won’t be bothered to cancel the transaction even if they lose interest in the product!).

The best example of offering a free trial? Pet shops that let potential buyers take dogs home for a week before making a decision. It works every time!